Fine, fine, here's the update promised last night...
My new transport. This is available as a kit from HifiDIY. I met the owner through my dealings with the Millett Hybrid project and decided to take the plunge a couple months ago. It didn't play nice with the Denon DAC at the time so hasn't seen much use until I finished this...
My new DAC.
What is it? It's the world's only (for now?) stand alone Headroom Balanced MAX DAC. The name, "Hertsens Signature DAC" was my idea and is just meant to accomplish two goals, one to give a hint at what's in the box and two to pay a small tribute to a guy that bleeds the headphone hobby.
Now there's a bit of a story behind how this came to be and of course more pictures so bear with me. Around two years ago I started a campaign of giving Tyll a ration of crap every time I talked to him about not building a high-end DAC when they'd already done the hard work and designed one. His response was always the same, "We're not a DAC company" etc, etc. So this winter/spring Headroom announced their plans to build the Ultra Micro and I changed my tune slightly to say that if they'd only build a balanced MAX DAC my source search would be over. In an effort to shut me up Tyll concocted a plan to sell me a balanced MAX DAC module and I could do the rest which meant providing a power supply, wiring and casing it all up, etc. So I called up Jamey and we set the wheels in motion.
The DAC uses amb's sigma22 for the power supply pumping out a super clean +/- 12V, a custom daughter board (designed by me) and will eventually be configured with a front panel input switch allowing me to switch between two coax sources which are the aforementioned transport and my Squeezebox3. I was originally thinking of retaining the USB input but this thing sounds so good it's never coming out of my main rig. But enough of my blabbering, MORE PICS!